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The United States of America (USA) is consistently a top choice for people from all around the world looking for an education that could open up more opportunities in life.

For one, when it comes to tertiary education, the country has always been ahead of the world. Thomson Reuters’ World’s Most Innovative Universities ranking conveyed this point strongly with three American institutions at the helm this year. Stanford University takes the top spot, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University at third place.

The list tabulated educational institutions that were identified as those that did the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries. It is no wonder then that these top three alongside the University of California also represent the best-rated institutions with the highest potential to impress graduate recruiters. According to a recent BBC article, the QS Graduate Employability Rankings revealed that the best university in the world to be put on a job application is MIT. In fact, graduates from MIT, Stanford, Harvard and UCLA are the most sought-after according to the views of 42,000 employers.

Data compiled include employers’ feedback on where they recruit their most “competent, innovative and effective” graduates as well as employment statistics of former students, the institutions where high-flying graduates in top jobs studied, and the range of partnerships between universities and employers.

Whilst the USA being home to some of the most internationally valued universities may be a key point of attraction for students, it is no standalone factor. Other factors contributing to the popularity of an American degree are such as the variety of subjects in which one can choose to excel, the opportunity to be a part of groundbreaking research in an advanced academic institution, to be immersed in a multicultural setting, and to develop a competitive edge.

Nevertheless, it’s not just the USA’s universities that are enticing. The country’s entire education system beginning from Pre-Kindergarten emphasizes the holistic development of the individual, which is especially essential in the present world.

One of the greatest minds today and a prominent face synonymous with China’s digital economy boom, Jack Ma, is among the many proponents of an education that prioritizes soft skills.

According to Ma, an emphasis on soft skills in an era of artificial intelligence and automation will allow us to hone our inherently human qualities. This helps to facilitate the way we should work in an increasingly challenging workplace.

“Education is a big challenge now.  If we do not change the way we teach, we will be in big trouble 30 years down the line.  [This is] because the way we teach, the things we teach our kids are the things from the past 200 years – it’s knowledge-based. We need to be teaching our children values, believing, independent thinking, teamwork, care for others…

“That’s why we should teach our kids sports, music, painting, art. Everything we teach should be different from machines,” he said.

This is where imagination comes into play. “We have to teach our kids to be very, very innovative; very creative,” continued Ma. “In this way, we can create jobs for our own kids.”

These skills are the emphasis of a well-rounded, crafted education found at Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School. Originating from Faribault in Minnesota, USA, and enriched with 160 years of education expertise, we highly prioritize your child’s holistic development. In addition to rigorous academics, we offer bespoke programs, from weCreate that encourages one’s innovative and creative skills to mentorship programs built to support students’ growth and ScholarShift, a transitional program to ease and equip students from school to college. These and more are the result of careful consideration of both students’ academic performance as well as their attitude and aptitude to thrive in an ever-changing world.

Kastturi Sandragesan

An ordinary lady who writes, dances, and also randomly smiles at strangers on the road.

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